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Public Governance Questioning Summary

Public Governance Questioning Summary
Explain the difference between a public and private organization:
Public organizations
Under political control and works for the common good. The public sector is the part of the
economy concerned with providing various governmental services. The composition of the public
sector varies by country, but in most countries the public sector includes such services as the
military, police, infrastructure, public transit, public education, along with health care and those
working for the government itself, such as elected officials.
Private organizations
Under the control of CEO(s) and works to make a profit. All the organizations that are not owned
or operated by the government. For example, retail stores, credit unions, and local businesses.
Who is Max Weber?
1864-1920 A German sociologist, philosopher, jurist, and political economist
What did Weber see coming with the power of modern bureaucracy?
It tended to crush persons in its path
How can bureaucracy be seen as a Iron Cage?
If organized really well; people who don’t really like their job would get depersonalized
What did Wilson think about Weber’s view of bureaucracy?
“Max Weber conveyed a view of bureaucracy as a monolith - a distinctive form of social organization
which exists to increase the predictability of government action by applying general rules to specific
What did Max Weber think about the power position of a fully developed bureaucracy?
“The power position of a fully developed bureaucracy is always great, under normal conditions over
towering. The political ‘master’ always finds himself, vis-à-vis the trained official, in the position of a
dilettante facing the expert”. Vis-à-vis = in comparison with. Dilettante = An amateur, someone with a
non-professional interest
Explain a corporate hierarchy:
Who is James Quinn Wilson?
1931/2012, An American academic, political scientist, and an authority on public administration
Professor at UCLA and Harvard
Known for Broken Windows theory
Name 5 principles of a modern bureaucratic organization according to Max Weber:
Explain the 5 principles
Centralization: Decision-making concentrated within one particular location
Hierarchy: Super- and subordination of services and persons
Formalization: The capturing of actions, decisions and rules in writing (“paperwork”)
Standardization: Routinised behavior on the basis of rules
Specialization: Limitation of tasks on the basis of expertise and efficiency
What is the power of a modern bureaucracy according to Wilson and Weber?
Weber: “The power position of a fully developed bureaucracy is always great, under normal
conditions over towering. The political ‘master’ always finds himself, vis-à-vis the trained official,
in the position of a dilettante facing the expert”
Wilson: “Its members possess the authority of office, enjoy lifelong careers and high social
esteem, and operate the levers of power in a way that makes bureaucracy an over towering
force against which citizens and politicians often struggle in vain”
What is the popular view of bureaucracy?
“Citizens and taxpayers have their own global view of bureaucracy. To them, bureaucrats are lethargic,
incompetent hacks who spend their days spinning out reels of red tape and reams of paperwork, all the
while going to great lengths to avoid doing the job they were hired to do. Their agencies chiefly produce
waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement”
What are the political views on bureaucracy?
Conservative/right wing:
o Government is, at best, a necessary evil. Government means bureaucracy, which by its
very nature is inefficient and must therefore be curtailed
o Government should play an (all-)important role in the governance of society. Public
bureaucracy can be made to do the job.
Why are the Weberian, popular and political views of bureaucracy all (partly) incorrect?
Bureaucracies often do not actually work according Weberian principles
agencies may fail to apply general rules to specific cases
agencies may resist translating their policies in the form of clear and general rules
professional training may be more important than official authority result: bureaucratic
functioning may be irregular and unpredictable
Bureaucracy may not be all-powerful
legislatures (“politicians”) may strongly influence the functioning of agencies
Not all bureaucrats are “lethargic, incompetent hacks”
“The great majority of respondents say that [their] experiences [with government agencies]
were good, that the agency personnel were helpful, friendly, and competent. This can only
mean that those lazy, incompetent bureaucrats must work for some other agency - the one
the citizen never sees”
Bureaucratic performance may vary dramatically
Bureaucracies with (roughly) the same goals, resources and structures may produce
dramatically different results
Slide Two Chapter One and Two
What is the importance of organization vis-à-vis bureaucracies? And what did Wilson think?
bureaucracies with (roughly) the same goals, resources and structures may produce dramatically
different results. That’s where organization comes in.
Wilson: “Studying the goals, resources, and structures of an agency is not always a very helpful clue to
what it will do”
What was the problem in WW2 (1940) in the Germans vs the French?
The killing power of dug-in machine guns and artillery
What was the French response to WW1 in preparation for WW2?
A focus on Defense
Name five things the French did in that regard:
fixed positions
massed firepower
machine gun squads as basic units
detailed mobilization plans
heavy fortifications (Maginot line)
heavy investments in tanks and artillery
tightly centralized control over operations
What was the result?
Preparation for the wrong war
What was the German response to WW1 in preparation for WW2?
A focus on attacking: infiltration warfare
Name four things the Germans did in that regard:
Squads organized in rifle-section and machine gun section
Mission-oriented command system (Auftragstaktik)
Indoctrination with primacy of combat and central importance of initiative
Medals for “successful independent action”
off-duty fraternizing of officers with soldiers
Regional units
What was the result?
The greatest military victory of modern time
What is the problem in prisons with regards to maintaining it?
Maintaining order among a numerically superior, temperamentally impulsive, and habitually inmates
What is the Michigan prison model called?
The responsibility model
What does that model entail? Name three
Respect for inmates as incarcerated citizens
Minimal rule enforcement
Freedom of movement, dress, possession, contact with outsiders, inmate organization
Optional participation in educational and rehabilitative programs
What where the results? Name two
Disorder and violence
Little meaningful work or education
Low guard morale
What is the Texas prison model called?
The control model
What does that model entail? Name five
Treatment of inmates as convicted criminals
Minute regulation of prison life by detailed schedule
Compulsory bathing, shaving, uniforms
Requirement to address guards as “boss” or “sir”
Inmate gangs or groupings forbidden
Rewards (privileges) for obedience and proper behavior; swift punishment for rule-breakers
What where the results? Name 3
Clean cells
Fresh food from prison farm
Effective implementation of educational programs
What is the problem in Carver High School?
Fear, disorder and low morale among students and teachers
What was the response of the new principle?
Dress code
Radio and stereo ban
Elimination of graffiti
“Authoritarian” management style
Vocational education
Student-executive meetings
What where the results?
Proud students
Enthusiastic teachers
Rising achievement levels
School popularity
What was Wilsons opinion on why organization matters so much?
“The key difference between more or less successful bureaucracies has less to do with finances, client
populations, or legal arrangements than with organizational systems”
What are three key matters a successful bureaucracy employs to be successful? EXAM Q
Definition of critical task
in response to the “critical environmental problem” (see armies, prisons, schools)
Mobilization of widespread endorsement for critical task
Acquisition of reasonable degree of autonomy
Slide 3 chapter three and four
Why do Operators do what they do?
It depends on the formal goals of the agency. Usually it depends on a cocktail of Goals, Circumstances,
Beliefs, Interests and Culture
What are Operators in an organization?
Front Line Workers
What are Operators regarding organizations?
A person who does the work that justifies the existence of the organization
What are some exceptions to those basic rules/principles?
Agencies with clear, operational goals that can easily be translated into concrete tasks for operators
Name three examples:
US postal Service
Taxi Service
Public transport Service
What is the rule?
Agencies with general, vague, or inconsistent goals that cannot easily be translated into concrete tasks
for operators
Name three examples:
US Department of State
Police officers
What can happen when a Person is very rule oriented?
They often forget what the rule is for
What are the consequences of vague and inconsistent goals in the functioning of operators? Where do
they fall back on? Name four
Explain the Imperative of the situation:
Doing what the situation requires. (Imperative) “vital importance; crucial. “immediate action was
Name two operators job examples where they take the Imperative of the situation:
Patrol officers:
Handle the situation in whatever circumstance
Take charge of the situations according to the circumstances
Ambulance medics:
Secure the patient in whatever situation
Stabilize the patient in whatever circumstance
Name two cases where this is important and three examples of professions:
Involuntary clients
Operators working in low-visibility circumstances
Examples: police, mental hospitals, schoolteachers
Explain the Expectation of Peers by example:
Example: soldiers fight when their peers expect them to fight (and vice versa)
What is the requirement for Peer Expectation to serve organizational needs?
It requires group formation and, therefore, time.
In what kind of job circumstances are the Expectations of Peers important and name three operator
jobs fitting that description:
Dangerous working conditions for operators. Examples: miners, undercover agents, combat soldiers
What is usually more important to the shaping’s to organizational behavior? Beliefs or circumstances?
Explain where it varies:
The beliefs are usually less important than circumstances, but it varies with the looseness of the
operator’s task definition: A more Tightly Defined Role/Task leaves less room for believes then a more
Loosely Defined Role/Task.
Name four types of beliefs that may be important/of influence:
Prior job experiences
Professional norms
Political ideology
Bureaucratic personality
Name an example of how Prior Job Experiences influences an agency:
The CIA; its original task was coordination, planning, evaluation and the dissemination of intelligence.
With the influx of OSS (Office of Strategic Services) veterans it got a new task: Act. The OSS wartime
agency ran spies and conducted operation behind enemy lines. The strong influence of the veterans at
the CIA changed the agency’s task.
Explain Professional norms and name three occupancy’s which fit that description:
Professionals are members of a prestigious occupational group based on specialized formal education
and acceptance of a code of proper conduct.
Name an example of how Professional norms influences an agency:
The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration); The goal of the organization/agency was
to reduce death and injury on the highways. Because the agency was dominated by Engineers the
solution was chosen which fits the Professional norm for Engineers. Out of several possible tasks:
Improve drivers’ skills and habits
Enhance road design
Eliminate car defects was chosen and they redesigned the cars to improve crashworthiness
Explain what Political Ideology influence can do:
Though generally not important it may shape the political beliefs of operators.
What is an example of the importance of Political Ideology:
The OCR (Office of Civil Rights); Its goals were to Preventing discrimination in regard to: Race, Color,
Sex, Handicap or National Origin in government funded programs and activities. It selected the task of:
Implementation of anti-discrimination measures in funded and unfunded programs and
Fighting discrimination and indications of discriminations
Because the Agency was Dominated by Civil Rights Enthusiasts
What does an Bureaucratic Personality do?
Bureaucratic Personality means that the logic of work in a Bureaucratic organization focusses on the
means (Rules, Regulation, Procedure) rather than the end result. Its goals become displaced. With that
Risk Averse Behavior often becomes a Goal of public organizations. “Goal Displacement”
Slide four chapters 5/6
What does it mean when government agency’s risk capture?
Capture: An agency’s functioning would be determined by outside interest groups
In what four ways may outside interests’ groups capture an agency that shape the tasks of operators?
Client Politics > Client agencies: One dominant interest group favoring the agency’s goals
Entrepreneurial politics > Entrepreneurial agency’s: One dominant interest group hostile to the
agency’s goals
Interest group politics > Interest group agency’s: Several interest groups in conflict over the
agency’s role
Majoritarian politics > Majoritarian agency’s: No important interest group
Explain Client Politics > Client agencies
Client politics:
Most of the benefits of the agency’s program go to some single, small interest (an industry,
profession, or locality)
Most of the costs are borne by a large number of people (e.g. all taxpayers)
Because the costs are spread thinly or hidden taxpayers have no incentive to oppose the
agency’s functioning or programs
Example: Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), goal: protecting infant civil
aviation industry by reducing “destructive competition”
Client agencies
Almost impossible to avoid “capture”
Example: “traditional” policing in rural India
Dominant castes
Factions in local politics
Selected task rural police:
• Do “big man’s” bidding
Explain Entrepreneurial politics > Entrepreneurial agency’s:
Entrepreneurial politics
Costs of the agency’s program are heavily concentrated on some industry, profession, or locality
Benefits are spread over many people
Affected group will strongly oppose agency functioning and programs
Example: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Entrepreneurial agencies
High risk of capture by affected group
example: Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
goal: prevent distribution of unsafe or ineffective drugs
Explain Interest group politics > Interest group agency’s:
Interest group politics
High benefits for winners
High costs for losers
Strong incentive for rival interest groups to press their claims
Example: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA),
Labor versus management
Interest group agencies
Risk becoming billiard balls of rival interest groups and politicians
Shifting focuses: “regulation” versus “costs of regulation”
Example: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Explain Majoritarian politics > Majoritarian agency’s:
Majoritarian politics
Widely distributed small benefits
Widely distributed small costs
No one seeks benefits, no one avoids costs
Example: Antitrust Division, p. 78
Majoritarian agencies
Can determine their own course of action
Example: Antitrust Division, p. 82
Demand-driven case-by-case approach
Which agencies are most at risk of capture?
Client agencies and entrepreneurial agencies
What are some of the restraints on capture?
Diminishing costs of political organization like protest, mobilization, which something like social media
makes easy and cheap
What is an organized culture? Name an example
A patterned way of thinking about the central tasks of and human relationships within an organization
(p. 91) “the way we do things around here”
Example: security unconsciousness in US embassy in Moscow (pp. 90-91) Diplomats equating security
consciousness with an undiplomatic mindset (pp. 93-95)
Name two facts about organizational culture:
Organizations may have several cultures
Organizational cultures have benefits and costs
What are some of the benefits of an organizational culture? Name four
Organizations with a culture that is widely shared and warmly endorsed by operators and
People know what to do and want to do it well
Confers feeling of special worth to organization members
Provides a basis for recruitment and agency socialization
Economizes on individual incentives (esp. salaries)
Name an example of an Organizational Culture:
The FBI under J. Edgar Hoover, the old FBI in the 1910/1920’s was blamed for Communist hunting
The new FBI’s mission in the 1930’s:
Conduct interviews with citizens in ways that would enhance citizen confidence in the bureau,
meticulously record and cross-index those interviews in ways that would obtain prosecutorial
support, and make arrests in ways that would be immune to legal challenge
Backed up by strict “control model”
Later: Allegations of abuse of authority and communist witch hunting by Hoover’s FBI
McCarthyism = Hooverism
What are some of the costs of an organizational culture? Name three:
Neglect of mission-unendorsed tasks
Example: CIA (pp. 101-103)
Dominance of “black” (clandestine) side over “white” (analytical) side
Neglect of:
Defector management
Conflicts among competing organizational cultures
Example: US Air Force (pp. 105-6)
“Bombers” against “fighters” and “transporters”
Resistance to new, mission-incompatible tasks
Example: FBI (pp. 107-8)
Shunned investigation of narcotics trafficking
Requires clandestine undercover operations which may tarnish agency
reputation for being “clean-cut, aboveboard, nonpartisan”
What are some to the external factors who decide the choices for managers regarding spending and
organization and goals?
interest groups
What is the result from that?
Government managers are driven by constraints on the
Where do firms focus on and what do government agencies focus on?
Firms: focus on ‘’bottom line’’ (making money)
Government agencies: focus on the ‘’top line’’  have we dealt with the constraints?
What are some of the Constraints on spending by public agencies and what is the result?
Government agencies get a budget and there are budget rules. You can’t spend it on something
else than the budget is allocated to.
In order to make sure that you get the same budget next year you need to be sure that you spend
all the money that was assigned to you. Furthermore, public managers cannot give bonuses so
the opportunity of motivating your employees is really hard in public agencies.
Output budgeting  pay for the numbers acquired.
For example, public schools are paid for the numbers of graduates
Result: a lot more people will graduate because they get more money per graduate
What are some of the Constraints on organizing= Hiring people and purchasing?
(a) Hiring people:
Nepotism = Hiring family + friends.
Where firms can hire anyone, they want public agencies do recruitment largely determined by
outside bodies.
Concerning US agencies, the Congress decides the amount of people an agency hires and what
they will pay him.
Office of management and budgets will decide how many people can be hired in each
Office of Personal Management will select the candidates.
The Merit System Protection board will manage the demotions and discharge.
The court will check if the rules are obeyed.
(b) Purchasing
Firms can choose the best supplier and public agencies are bound by external procedures.
For example: if a public agency wants to buy fish they have to advertise that they are
looking for fish and they have to take the lowest bid.
It is difficult to decline bids of companies which who you worked before because they
increased their price.
What are some of the Constraints on goal setting?
In the US, you need a written notification to make new rules or policies valid.
Obligation to solicit comments from interested parties.
Obligation to compensate the costs of groups intervening in agency decision-making.
Informal obligation to accommodate goals requested by oversight bodies.
There are fewer constraints in Europe than in the United States.
What are some of the Constraints implications for management?
Managers worry more about constraints than about outcomes and managers are confronted with
powerful interveners such as interest groups and cemented by the courts. Managerial focus lies on the
equity rather than the efficiency.
How do Managers reduce risks by way of SOP’s?
Standard operating procedures
Red tape
More constrains  more managers
What are the Issues in the management of people in public agencies and what are the consequences?
The hiring of employees for public agencies tends to be regulated by merit systems (a.k.a.
deserved systems: you have to be qualified)
Originally designed to prevent political interference and nepotism
Rules designed to ensure hiring of the most deserving (“meritorious”) candidates
Consequence: managers of public agencies cannot usually hire anyone they want.
Often: open exams
Cf. civil service exams in India, PACE in U.S.
Consequence: managers of public agencies cannot usually hire anyone they want.
How do payment and pay grades work in bureaucracies?
Bureaucracies typically comprise of several pay grades, each of which comprises of several “steps” (if you
want to earn more you have to apply to a new (higher) job)
What are the implications for manager?
Implication for managers
After the last “step”, paying more requires promotion to another grade, or the creation
of a higher graded job
“This means that managers spend much of their time memorizing verbal abstractions,
honing their skills at drafting flowery memos recommending promotions, and arguing
with position classifiers” (p. 143)
Instrument for rewarding good employee performance
Problem: evaluating employee performance may be very difficult: its difficult to explain why someone gets a
raise and someone else doesn’t
e.g. what makes a good policeman?
Implication for managers:
They must make hard-to-defend distinctions among many people with whom they must continue
to work
A kind of ‘solution’:
Give small bonuses to many
“Everybody is excellent”
What are the implications for managers considering Dismissal? (firing employees)
Problem for managers: it’s difficult and time-consuming due to protective civil service rules
In the US only 0,2% of public employees is dismissed and in the Netherlands: “it takes three years
to get rid of someone”
A kind of ‘solution’:
Move people to ‘punishment posts’  make them doing work they don’t like, either so
they improve or give up and leave themselves.
Wet posts are positions where you still get paid
Dry posts are positions where you don’t get paid
What are Evaluation used for and what are the implications for managers?
Instrument for assessing employee performance
Implication for managers:
Employee resistance (they feel like they are branded ‘unreliable’)
Employees tend to prefer promotion on the basis of seniority
What are some of the Problems for managers of public agencies?
How to prevent unwanted operator behaviour
Shirking (doing as little as possible)
Subversion (sabotaging the organization)
(Material) Incentives to enforce compliant behaviour are few
Use of existing incentives is constrained
How does the compliance enforcement vary with agency type?
Agency type varies with observability of:
Outputs (OU): what operators effectively do
Outcomes (OO): the results of what operators do
What are four types of agencies?
1) Production organization
2) Procedural organization
3) Craft organization
4) Coping organization
Explain the four types of agencies: OU= outputs OO= outcomes
1) Production organization
OU +, OO +
Compliance enforcement relatively easy
Operator behaviour can be observed
Outcome achievement can be measured
Tax office, Social Security Administration
Potential side-effect:
Biased operator attention to most easily measured outcomes
2) Procedural organization
OU +, OO –
Tendency to manage agency processes through continuous surveillance
Peace time armies
3) Craft organization
OU -, OO +
Tendency to rely on goal-oriented management
Examples: Army Corps of Engineers, investigative agencies
4) Coping organization
OU -, OO –
Effective compliance enforcement almost impossible
Inherent conflict between operators . . .
. . . and managers
Who must face situational imperatives
Who must deal with complaints of politically influential constituencies
Result: coping managers responding to signals and alarms
Examples: police officers, teachers
Chapter 3
Why are the tasks by government agency’s more likely to be defined by factors other than firms, ones
through the preference of the executive?
Because they spend most of their time coping with their agencies external environment
What is a government agency usually?
A sole monopoly provider of some service that is supported by a legislative appropriation that is payed
for by taxes extracted by citizens
What must you do to understand a government bureaucracy?
You must understand how it’s frontline workers learn what to do
How do you know if an agency satisfies its clients?
By looking at the work of the operators
What is a clear goal?
An operational goal
What happens if agencies don’t have clear goals?
When agencies have vague or inconsistent goals, what workers do is shaped by circumstances they
encounter at the job, the beliefs and experiences they bring to the job, or the external pressure on the
What does a working personality include?
The working personality includes all aspects of the traditional values and patterns of behavior evidenced
by police officers who have been effectively socialized into the police subculture.
How an operator does its job in part depends on?
How he is being supervised
When an action has policy implications and is subject to political criticism after the fact what behavior
do operator display?
A tendency towards caution
What does a task define by a situational imperative lead to?
The development of an organizational culture that emphasizes on caution
What is the minimum requirement for peer expectations to serve organizational needs?
That’s peers stay together for long periods of time
What happens when an organization exposes its members to mortal danger and poor job managing
group cohesion?
Those groups will start to define tasks independently of the organization
What is Peer Motivation?
A source of motivation
A force defining what are acceptable and unacceptable tasks
What will make workers responsive to incentives an organization had little control over?
Organizational attitudes
Chapter four
What do both liberal and conservatives fear concerning the attitude of bureaucrats?
They fear they will determine how they define and preform their tasks
What is an Attitude?
An attitude is a person’s evaluation of some entity in his/her environment
When does attitude and ideology influence jobs?
When the job is weakly defined
When do personal beliefs have a large effect on how tasks are defined?
When the role to be played is not highly specified by:
When the operator receives relatively weak rewards form the organization
When operators are preforming loosely defined roles like, lawyers, scientist, doctor, what kind of
predispositions can you expect them to bring to the job?
Prior experiences
Sensitivity to professional standards
Political ideology
Personal characteristics
What is distinctive about members of a profession?
A professional is someone who receives important occupational rewards from a reference group whose
membership is limited to people who have undergone specialized formal education and have accepted a
code of proper conduct
How do liberals and conservatives describe bureaucrats?
Liberals: cautious, conformist individuals who loathe to take risks
Conservatives: zealous empire builders determent to expand their power at the expense of the
What is goal displacement?
When operators worry more about following the right rules then achieving the ultimate goal
Chapter Five
How are tasks defined?
By interests
Chapter six
What is a moral factor in an organization?
The process of incalculating:
Points of view
Fundamental attitudes
To an organization that will result in subordinating individual interest to the cooperative of the whole
What happens when a single culture is broadly shared and warmly endorsed?
It becomes a mission
What is the great advantage of that?
Head of the agencies can be more confident that operators will act in a particular case as the
head would have acted
There are fewer distortions in the flow of information because they share a common
When does the importance of ethos become clear?
When it begins to decay
How can this happen?
This may happen when new arrivals of groups in the organization that have a different
occupational or professional culture
Decisions from leaders who accidently or by plan, destroy the old sense of mission or attempt to
replace it with one not widely endorsed by the operators
What are the costs of a clear sense of mission?
Tasks that are not defined as central to the mission are often performed poorly or starved for resources
What is the result of that?
Subordinate cultures may develop around these periphery tasks, but promotional opportunities will be
very restricted for the people working in them
What can the perceptions of an organizational culture sometimes lead to?
It can lead to officials behaving in a way different than what the situation requires but as the culture
Chapter seven
Why are businesses also bureaucracies?
Because they regulate the employees behavior by a complex set of rules
Why is a difference between business and government bureaucracies?
Managing a government bureaucracy is more difficult
Why is that? Name three:
They cannot lawfully retain and devote to the private benefit of their members the earnings of
the organization
They cannot allocate the factors of production in accordance with the preferences of the
organization’s administrators
They must serve goals not of the organizations own choosing
How are government managers driven in their organization?
By constraints and not the tasks
How are business managers driven in their organization?
By profits
Why do agency’s not have an incentive to economize?
Because they are bound by a fiscal year. Anything they don’t use will have to be returned or their next
budget might be deducted
What would happen if a public bureaucrat and a private one would keep revenue surpluses for
personal usage?
He would be charged with corruption while the private ones receive bonusses
How was this in the past?
In the past it was normal that a tax collector (bureaucrat) would keep a percentage of the income he
Why has this changed?
Because the citizenry has changed and believe that public service should be neutral and disinterested.
What does this reflect on the citizenry?
The changes reflect their desire to eliminate moral hazards; incentive to act wrongly
So why shouldn’t more carefully rewards be awarded?
Because government managers have a hard time proving they achieved their goals because the goals
are vague and inconsistent
What is the closest nonpolitical, non-arbitrary evaluation of an organizations performance?
The ability to earn from costumer’s revenues excess of cost
Why can’t government agency’s do that?
Because they provide a service for which there are no willing costumer’s, or they are the monopoly
suppliers of a valued service
Why do government agency’s produce such low surpluses?
Because they don’t have an incentive to do so. It is more likely to hurt them
What are some of the other incentives when pay for public bureaucrats don’t increase?
Professional reputation, personal ideology, interest group demand and situational imperatives
What are some privately managed bureaucrats that also can’t take from the surplus?
Private schools
Why do Private schools deliver better results the Public ones while employing fewer managers?
They have the freedom to organize and use of labor and capital
What has a federal government agency to deal with, with rules coming congress?
Merit System Protection Board? (MSPB): tells how many persons of each rank it may employ
Management of budget (OMB); sets rules it must follow in selecting and assigning personnel
Office of Personnel Management (OPM): tells how many persons it can hire and at what rate of
What must a government agency do when purchasing something?
It must set out a bid by advertisement
Often must accept the lowest bid
It must keep the vendor at arm’s length
If an agency wants to shut down a local office what must it do compared to a regular business?
It must seek permission from the legislature
What must an agency do compare to a business about the annual budget?
It must seek permission form the legislature
Why isn’t it the fault of the agency bureaucrat’s crazy love of red tape making it all so complex doing
Because they are political rules that have been imposed on them by external actors
What would happen if a government purchasing agent would do business like business?
They would be accused of:
Sweetheart deals
So, what must this agent do?
He must ask for a sealed bid or for a competitive written response to detailed “request of proposals”
What did the acquiring of greater autonomy mean for the Postal service?
It increased its ability to acquire, allocate, and control the factors of production
What is the result of political supervision on agency’s management?
Supervision of the factor of production leads to managers becoming constraint oriented rather than task
How can you tell how constraint-oriented managers are?
By looking at how easily observed they are and readily evaluated the agency’s efforts to attain its stated
So, how does this impact the organization’s culture?
The more constraints there are the more risk averse and people will react accordingly. The acquisition of
these learned vulnerabilities impacts the culture that way
What else next to the primary goals are agencies supposed to serve?
It must serve a large number of contextual goals
Why must agencies do when they change new rules or policy’s?
They must give a written notice of their intention to do so and solicit comments from interested parties
What does the freedom of information act provide?
It gives citizens the right to inspect all government records with some exceptions
What are the consequences of so many contextual goals and political constraints on the management
of public agencies?
1. Managers have a strong incentive to worry more about constraints than tasks:
 More worry about the process than the outcome
 Outcomes are often uncertain, delayed, controversial
Procedures are known, immediate, and defined by rule of law
2. The multiplicity of the constraints on an agency enhances the power of potential intervenors in
the agency
 Every constraint or Contextual goal is the written affirmation of the claim of some external
3. Equity is often more important than efficiency in managing a government agency
4. The existence of many contextual goals, like the existence of constraints on the use of
resources, tend to make managers more risk averse
5. Standard operating procedure are developed in each agency to reduce the chance that an
important contextual goal or constraint is not violated
6. Public agency’s will have more managers then private ones performing similar tasks More
constraint require more manager.
7. The more contextual goals and constraints that must be server the more discretionary authority
in an agency is pushed upwards to the top
Why are government bureaucracies more bureaucratic then private ones?
By part because the people and political representatives insist on that
Why do public agencies act more often from principle of Centralization?
Because the greater the number and more complex the goals are, the riskier it is to give operators
authority to make decisions for managers
What distinguishes bureaucratic public form private organizations?
The rules under which they acquire and use labor and capital
Chapter eight
Why do jobs have to be classified?
By the Pendleton act: To ensure the fair, equitable and nonpolitical treatment of public employees
Why was it so difficult to examine people with and administrative job?
There is no economical way to watch managers preform a representative sample of their actual work
What was the PACE test?
A test of general mental abilities
Why is the PACE test disbanded?
Because it was thought to discriminated against black/Hispanic minority’s
After its demise how was it replaced? Name three:
Job specific tests were written for certain occupations
Government agencies were allowed to appoint people to professional jobs directly without
Agency’s filled managerial or specialist jobs by internal promotion
What are the difficulties with linking pay to performance?
Both employees and managers dislike it, pay to seniority is considered safer because it minimizes the
authority of managers
Who deals with appeals from federal workers regarding firing, demotions, denying of pay rises or
Merit System Protection Board
Why are agency’s executives still adverse to take action against workers while they have a great
chance at succeeding?
Because it’s still a long lengthy process
What is the dilemma of a public personnel system involving the choice between a bureaucratic and a
more professionalized service?
The bureaucratic service:
A set of rules
That specify who are to be hired
How they are managed
How do they what they do
The professionalized service:
Rules that specify who are hired but that leave great discretion to the members of the
occupation, or to their supervisors.
To decide how they are doing their job
How they are managed
What are professionals expected to do?
To put the well-being of their clients or the search for truth above their own interest
Why does society invest heavily in the training of professionals?
Because clients are unable to evaluate the quality of the procedures to which they are subjected
How do professionals occupy an anomalous position in government agencies?
They are hired for the knowledge they bring to the tasks
They know how to do things that must be done that cannot be easily taught
Because they are expected to regulate their own behavior on the basis of professional norms
How does government fix this problem when hiring professionals?
They hire professionals for their expert knowledge but deny them the right to use that knowledge as
they see fit
What is the biggest struggle in the federal personnel system?
Autonomy: allowing local managers to make decisions and allowing actual or quasi-professionals to do
their jobs
What do people who work for government want and what don’t they want?
They want the freedom to do their work without excessive constraints, but they will resist efforts to be
evaluated and rewarded based on that work
What happens with workers when the tasks become more complex?
They will want more freedom
What happens with workers when the constraint multiply?
They will be less and less trusting of their managers or the political process
What happens when bureaucrats become defensive about or hostile to pressure?
Politicians and interest groups confuse their defensiveness with timidity and their hostility with
subversion. So, they are tempted to bash them
Chapter nine
What do managers need to do, to attain their organizational goals?
To do this properly the goals must be known
The work must contribute to their attainment
The power of managers must be sufficient enough to produce the needed coordination
Why is that difficult often in public agencies?
Goals are hopelessly vague
Activities sadly ineffectual
Power sharply limited
What is the theory economist subscribe to about shirking work?
The principal agent models
What does it address?
It addresses the question of how a principal can arrange incentives confronting an agent, so the latter
does what the former desires
When does the problem of shirking work start to arise?
When actions cannot be observed or when the agent has information about work that can be withheld
from his or her principal
Why would a manager shirk work?
He may conceal a lock of qualifications
Or because he isn’t rewarded on a merit base, he thinks he can get away with it
What was the economists solution to that?
They designed a new contract with a fixed base salary plus a bonus for achieving a certain profitability
Why is this not easy?
Because other things influence profitability like:
Cost of raw materials
Technological change
Why is it impossible to design an employment contract like that for government managers?
Because of the constraints government managers have
Why do the difficulties of avoiding shirking in a government agency go well beyond the economist
The output of an agency may not only be unobservable but also unknowable
Every agent in a government bureau is likely to have many principals
The agents will bring their own political preferences, professional standards and prior
experiences to the job
What are the conditions that make it difficult for Economists?
Vague of conflicting goals
Multiple principals
Bureaucrats with policy preferences
Why do government bureaucrats work at all?
Because managers can exert control of the material rewards of their subordinates
A sense of duty
Willingness to conform to expectations of fellow workers
Why would an army officers go into combat?
Because it is expected of them
Because the situation demands it (situational imperative)
Because his partners would think less of him when he wont
What are the reasons public bureaucrats are fine with lower rewards then their business
A sense of duty and purpose
Status that derives from individual recognition and personal power
Associational benefits come from being part of an organization
How is a sense of mission forged?
What are some of the public agency’s where a sense of mission can be found?
Army corps of engineers
Marine corps
How do agencies differ from a managerial point of view?
Can the activities of their operators be observed?
o Factor: Output and Outcomes
What’s Esoteric meaning?
Intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge
or interest.
What may arise when an operator’s actions are esoteric or unobserved?
The problem of moral hazards arises; the operator might shirk or subvert
Why makes outcomes hard to be observed?
Because the organization might lack methods for gathering information about the consequences of its
What are the four extreme cases when you observe outputs and outcomes at agency’s?
Agencies in which both output and outcomes can be observed
Agencies in which output but not outcomes can be observed
Agencies in which outcomes but not outputs can be observed
Agencies where in which neither output nor outcomes can be observed
What are Wilsons name for them?
Production organization: Agencies in which both output and outcomes can be observed
Procedural organizations: Agencies in which output but not outcomes can be observed
Craft organization: Agencies in which outcomes but not outputs can be observed
Coping organization: Agencies where in which neither output nor outcomes can be observed
What can managers do when both output and outcomes can be observed?
They can create a compliance system to produce an efficient outcome
What Is the problem that confronts the managers of production agency’s?
They may give most of their attention to the more easily measured outcomes at the expanse of those
less easily observed or counted
What happens at many government agencies in that regard?
Work that produces measurable outcomes tend to drive out work that can’t be measured
What must one be certain of before managing a production agency?
One must be sure it is actually a production agency
What does this mean?
This means being reasonably confident that all the important outcomes are being observed
What do the conditions that define a procedural organization seem to make ripe?
Management that encourages the development of professionalism
Why does a procedural organization become means orientated?
Because it is constraint driven
What does that mean for operators?
How he does his job is more important than the outcomes he produces
Out of what does a craft organization consist of?
Operators whose activities are hard to observe but whose outcomes are relatively easy to observe
Where do craft organization rely heavily on?
It relies heavily on ethos and a sense of duty of its operators to control behavior
What justifies calling some agency’s craft organizations?
Self-taught or professional indoctrinated skills and a group or profession-induced ethos
Why are agency’s that evaluate their members by outcomes rarely content to do only that?
Because good public management is not relentlessly utilitarian (designed to be useful or practical rather
than attractive) as to think that only results matter
What is one of the reasons for that?
Every public agency produces many kinds of outcomes; not just progress towards the primary goal of
the agency, but also contextual goals and constraints
What is the difference between a private and public coping organization?
Private organizations must survive by attracting clients and contributors. A loss of either means
something is wrong
Private organizations face far fewer constraints in using and disposing of capital and labor than
public organizations
What happens in public organizations where you can’t measure output or outcomes?
There is a high degree of conflict between managers and operators in public agencies, especially with
those that must cope with clients not of their own choosing
What are operators and managers driven by in such organizations?
Operators: driven by situational imperatives they face
Managers: driven by the constraints they face
What do coping, and procedural organizations have in common?
Management at both organizations have a strong incentive to focus their efforts on the most easily
measured activities of their operators
What are some of the possibilities subordinates will do in response?
Conform behavior to whatever is being measured
Subvert management strategy by ignore the measured activities
Generate enough stats to keep management happy, while working on their own definition on
what constitutes “good work”
What is a career enhancing assignment called?
Ticket Punch
What does managing in any organization entail?
Distributing high value incentives to reward the proper behavior while also proving access to equity
What kind of pressure do you see in coping and procedural organizations?
Powerful pressure to convert equity into equality; to make rewards available to all rather than equally
available to the most talented
What is the principal challenge facing public managers?
Understanding the importance of a carefully defining the core tasks of the organization and to find both
monetary rewards and non-monetary incentives that will induce operators to preform those tasks
How is shirking minimized?
By making certain that the proper performance of core tasks both enhances the career of operators and
confer upon them esteem of their co workers
What does the esteem part require?
A supportive culture around those core tasks